Chief Investigator: Dr Caroline Gaus

Caroline’s research interests cover the evaluation of chemical pollutant fate and associated processes in the environment to facilitate assessment of risks to humans and wildlife. As part of a team effort, her research groups' current focus is to qualitatively and quantitatively describe the complex processes of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in (sub)tropical coastal and marine environments.

 

PhD Student: Veronica Matthews

Veronica is involved in a National Health & Medical Research Council funded project to investigate risk and exposure to persistent organic pollutants through consumption of contemporary and traditional seafood. The project focuses on the community of North Stradbroke Island, Moreton Bay. Exposure will be measured through dietary surveys and sampling and analysis of locally sourced seafood varieties. On-going communication and information sharing with the island community will facilitate informed decision making on risk management options. The risk evaluation models derived from this case study may then be applied to coastal communities in other areas.

 

PhD Student: Siobhan Hermanussen

Siobhan is currently working on an ARC funded project to investigate the exposure of marine turtles to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and to assess the potential adverse health effects, associated with POP exposure, for marine wildlife in Queensland. A high-resolution sampling approach has been applied to sediments within Moreton Bay to investigate the pathways and fate of these compounds within the near-shore marine system. This near-shore environment provides a final sink for POP contaminants and also supports threatened sea turtle populations foraging in these areas. Sea turtles may be particularly vulnerable to contaminant exposure due to their long life span (50 years or more), specialised food requirements, complex life history and long maturation process. This project aims to provide a better understanding of exposure and exposure pathways of marine turtles to POPs.